Articles: A/AN or ∅
Indefinite NP: element of novelty
- Referent can be new in a situation: She burst into tears.
- New presentation of the referent, new quality: The nurse was a lanterjawed grayfaced woman with tight lips.
- Sometimes a new categorisation of the referent: She’s an angel. This is a computer: recalls the category, implying another info (cost, fragile…).
SOME & ANY
Can be: - determiners: I'd like some tea. - pronouns: I'd love some. ALSO - predeterminers: For some three minutes - adverbs: He slept some/didn't sleep any.
Semantic: indertermination, do not say everything about the referent.
Indetermination can be:
- Qualitative: some day, any day = indetermination is not on the number of days but on their nature.
- Quantitative: I’ve got some books in my bag, I’d like some water = possible with non-count or plural countable.
NB: With abstract non-count nouns, issue of QLT and QNT. Can be both.
Scanning operation: thinks of the category as the accumulation of all the elements that compose it, but never stopping to focus on any of them.
= Homogenization of the class
The referent is presented as potential: Is there any bread left?
- Interrogation: question the existence of the referent, not actualized.
- Negation, referent does not exist either, so logical to present it as non-actualized.
The referent is presented as existing, process is actualized: I bought some books.
= Presents referent as existing but only existence that matters, indetermined otherwise. I need some water = does not matter QLT or QNT, only thing that matters is existence.
= That is why usually declarative & positive sentences, VS any in interrogative and negative structures.
Indefinite OF structures
- Allows to say the form of a referent: a lump of sugar.
= Both N actually refer to the same thing, sugar.
= N1 says the form of N2 in this situation. Order of the syntax is contrary to order of the construction.
= preposition OF materializes the relation btw the 2 nouns.
- The structure allows to say the manifestation of an abstrat idea: when N2 is abstract non-count, N1 says the manifestation of an abstract concept = a torrent of wordy wonderment.
- The structure can explicitate a plural: a pair of shoes.
- The structure can express a metaphor: a monster of a four-post bedstead.